Skip to main content

Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

See other formats


TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

the Lighthouse beam entered the rooms for a
moment, sent its sudden stare over bed and wall
in the darkness of winter, looked with equanimity
at the thistle and the swallow, the rat and the
straw. Nothing now withstood them; nothing
said no to them. Let the wind blow; let the
poppy seed itself and the carnation mate with the
cabbage. Let the swallow build in the drawing-
room, and the thistle thrust aside the tiles, and the
butterfly sun itself on the faded chintz of the arm-
chairs. Let the broken glass and the china lie
out on the lawn and be tangled over with grass and
wild berries.

For now had come that moment, that hesita-
tion when dawn trembles and night pauses, when
if a feather alight in the scale it will be weighed
down. One feather, and the house, sinking,
falling, would have turned and pitched downwards
to the depths of darkness. In the ruined room,
picnickers would have lit their kettles; lovers
sought shelter there, lying on the bare boards;
and the shepherd stored his dinner on the bricks,
and the tramp slept with his coat round him to
ward off the cold. Then the roof would have
fallen; briars and hemlocks would have blotted
out path, step, and window; would have grown,
unequally but lustily over the mound, until some
trespasser, losing his way, could have told only
214